The 10 Most Memorable TV Interventions
Laney, Intervention, Season 3 (2007)
“My name is Laney...and I’m rich. I can buy cars, homes and people,” declared this 36-year-old at the beginning of this episode. However, what she couldn’t buy was sobriety. The self-described “hardcore alcoholic” was blowing through her seven-figure divorce settlement on a bottle of rum every day, which brought her to the point of her liver only functioning at 20%. After landing in a hospital due to a suicide attempt, she left the facility against medical advice upon learning that her family was planning to stage an intervention. When her family conducted an “ambush intervention” anyway the next morning, Laney locked herself in her mansion and called the police. She agreed to enter treatment, but only lasted two days, before having a limo take her from the Florida rehab center back to her home in Kansas. However, the limo driver was also a part-time counselor and ultimately convinced her during the cross-country drive to give up drinking. She now lives in Florida and has been sober since June 2007.
Miriam, Intervention, Season 9 (2010)
A reverend at a wedding chapel, Miriam suffered from a 25-year PCP addiction that resulted in prison time and occasional prostitution, as well as some of the show’s most memorable one-liners. Her family had given up on her gaining sobriety, and her relationship with her daughter Sireena was estranged, after being taken away from her years before. Miriam agreed to enter inpatient treatment and moved into a sober living facility in Florida after 90 days. She has been sober since March 12, 2010.
Dennis Rodman, Celebrity Apprentice, Season 2 (2009)
Long before he became a diplomat for US-North Korean relations, Dennis Rodman competed on the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. During the fifth episode, his double-fisting of vodka cranberries led to him physically threatening country singer Clint Black before walking out of the task for which he was the project manager. “Working with Dennis went from being funny and entertaining to just kinda sad,” noted cast member Jesse James. The show’s boardroom firing turned into an intervention, with James accusing Rodman of having a drinking problem and the entire cast agreeing. Trump fired Rodman and the credits closed in displaying the website for Alcoholics Anonymous. Rodman later appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2010, insisting that he was now living with a sober coach. He is currently appearing on the “all-star” edition of Celebrity Apprentice and laid off the sauce for the duration of taping—but reportedly got drunk off-camera after being fired by The Donald in an episode that has yet to air.
Amber Smith, Celebrity Rehab, Season 2 (2008)
The prescription pill addiction of model Amber Smith was fueled largely in part by her relationship with her mother, Carol: The pair lived together and did drugs together, and Carol even admitted to helping her daughter land escort clients. During a surprise intervention from Amber and Dr. Drew, Carol revealed that she has been suffering from a 30-year painkiller addiction and had even contemplated suicide the day before. She agreed to get treatment off-camera at a separate facility. Amber reported that she has remained sober since. “We got her an apartment, and we got help through the government and other groups, and now I can afford to keep her in her own apartment. She’s in a senior citizens’ place, and she can be social,” she said in a 2011 interview.
Jeff Conaway, Celebrity Fit Club, Season 3 (2006)
Before Jeff Conaway’s struggles with drugs played out on Celebrity Rehab, the Grease star was given an intervention by his fellow cast members on Celebrity Fit Club. Conaway showed up for a fitness challenge disoriented, slurring his words and barely able to stand—which he attributed to having taken two Benadryl that morning. His bizarre and aggressive outbursts continued during the weigh-in ceremony the next day, where Chaz (then Chastity) Bono spoke for the cast by telling Jeff, “We do believe you’re on drugs.” He left the show in the third episode to enter rehab before becoming the most troubled cast member in Celebrity Rehab history. Conaway died on May 27, 2011 from pneumonia and encephalopathy attributable to drug overdoses.
McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, abcnews.com and usopen.org, among others. He has written about Carré Otis and Celebrity Rehab, among many other topics, for The Fix.